Category Archives: ARTH 114

Global Guides at Penn Museum

“Refugees Connect Their Personal Stories with a Museum’s Ancient Artifacts”

“The Global Guides program at the Penn Museum hires recent refugees from the Middle East to give personalized tours. The leader of my tour was Moumena Saradar, a refugee from Syria who has lived in Philadelphia for two years.”

By Olivia Jia for Hyperallergic, 2/20/2019

Read the above article to see how one museum is connecting with refugees from the Middle East by hiring them to teach visitors about their culture, both ancient and contemporary.

Global Guides tour at Penn Museum, Moumena Saradar showcases similarities between her grandfather’s family business and the artifacts from Tepe Gawra (all photos by Olivia Jia for Hyperallergic)

Who translated cuneiform?

“You have to go back 4,000 years, colleagues said, to find someone as fluent in Sumerian as Miguel Civil. A Catalonian-born professor with a purported photographic memory, he spent decades studying ancient cuneiform tablets, examining the last wedge-shaped traces of what is probably the world’s oldest written language.” Read more here.

“A lexical list from the Early Dynastic period, item A3670 in the Oriental Institute’s collection. Dr. Civil was an expert on such lists, which featured terms in both Sumerian and Akkadian.”(Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago)

Ancient mosaics from a synagogue

Mosaics dating to the late Roman period have been found in a synagogue in modern Israel “challenge current notions of ancient Jewish aesthetics and the art of depicting scripture.”

Sarah E. Bond, “Discovery of Jewish Mosaics in Israel Bring Color to Biblical Accounts,” Hyperallergic, 7/20/18.

Fish swallowing Pharoah’s soldier in the Parting of the Red Sea

This is brilliant!

Read anything you can by Philip Kennicott, art critic for The Washington Post. Here he writes about how one might visit an art museum…and really get something out of it!

Philip Kennicott, “The ‘learn one thing’ rule.” Washington Post, 2/4/18, E13.

The series of short articles is about “getting the most” out of your visits to a museum, theatre, dance performance, even a movie. They are all worth reading. If you just want to read Kennicott, scroll down to the Mondrian glasses.

Prehistoric tools found in India

Tools have been found at an archaeological site in southern India that may date to 385,000 years ago…this is well before modern humans are thought to have come to India. Who made them? Read more in Sarah Kaplan’s article, “Sophisticated tools unearthed in India raise a question: Who made them?” Washington Post, 2/5/18, A14.

Artifacts uncovered at the excavation at Attirampakkam (Sharma Center for heritage Education)